Monday, June 18, 2007

And One More...

By oversight, I left out a very important observation of the Ukrainian culture from my last post. Kisses. Oh, my friends... kisses are such a part of this culture. For someone who is not a huge fan of kisses or kissing, this can be a challenge! But it turns out it's not all that bad. Friends and co-workers greet one another with a kiss when meeting and when departing. And then there's always the occasional kiss to express joy, gratitude, and friendship. It is typically a simple, single kiss on the cheek, but if the person is especially excited to see you, or especially joyful, prepare for somewhere between three and five kisses. This is yet another way living in Ukraine has helped me to push past some irrational areas of discomfort. A few others include my fear of birds (pigeons are EVERYWHERE, and fly up and toward you at any random moment -- and for no reason at all), my fear of dogs (street dogs are EVERYWHERE as well), and chlostrophobia (thanks to marshutkas and the general crowded nature of Zaporozhye, dealing with crowded spaces is a daily adventure!).

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